Well, last week was "Fair Week" in our neck of the woods, which meant LOTS of learning opportunities and MAN did we take advantage of them. We saw goats being milked (the boys REFUSED to partake) ;) Cow milking, sheep shearing, horse pulls, tractor pulls, old fashioned cider mills, steam engines, and all the like. The week was filled to the brim and Sunday we were exhausted and "Fair Hungover" :) Each morning Hope got up and promptly went to the door after getting dressed for her mud boots and John Deere bow. :) Sunday was a day of rest...well sort of...since we had been gone so much of the week, there was much to be done so we plugged away at that.
When Monday rolled around, I was tired, the kids were tired and crankiness was in the air. I KNOW that attitude is important...I know that crankiness is contagious and yet I went into the week with a chip on my shoulder, feeling overwhelmed and cranky once again. (I'd like to also clarify that my house is fully in order...well as much order as one can have with three small children...you know...just for the record.)
I tried to share my frustration with my sweet husband which only infuriated me further. He always reminds me that there is no room for a bad attitude and all too often I am tired and weak and instead of hitting my knees I get irritable and cranky. He assures me that I am capable of anything God wants me to do and if I set my mind to it and move forward prayerfully His plans always succeed and yet somehow that often times infuriates me more, until I do hit my knees and see his heart and intention.
This morning I was buzzing around the house getting packed up to head out the door because on Wednesdays we meet up with some other fab families for playtime/mommy time/lunch and then I go work with my dad while my Grandma spends an hour or two with the kids. As I buzzed, I fumed. Dirty socks on the floor...not mine...not the kids. Dirty coffee mug in the sink instead of the dishwasher, and toothpaste in the sink. I thought to myself...wow, I am married to a neanderthal. Stomp stomp stomp as I pick up messes I did not make...a toddler fit because it just isn't fair follows. Just kidding...kind of.
Then in several conversations today with three different friends, as they shared marriage struggles with me, I realized I hadn't thanked Howard in a very long time. His minor little flaws are really nothing at all in comparison to the gift he is in my life. He is my very best friend, my biggest supporter, the most amazing father who LOVES having time with his kids, and a wonderful leader for our family. On top of all that he is a minister to many especially my own heart.
He is a wonderful and loving man of God and so tomorrow, when I pick up dirty socks and move that coffee mug from the sink to the dishwasher I will fight back the toddler fit and I will be trying to use those previous annoyances as a reminder to pray for Howard and give thanks for all he is to this family. If we take a close look we all have lots of flaws. I have more than I can count and yet he loves me in spite of and sometimes even because of each and every one. I am so very blessed to have found such a wonderful man of God and I know Satan loves nothing more than tearing marriages apart and so it is my goal from now on to stop when I find myself annoyed (one of Howard's famous lines to the kids is that annoyed is a choice)by the little things and give thanks for the MAJOR blessing God has given me in Howard Bolte. As my dad would say I "had an attitudinal problem that needs some readjustin'"(a quote from one of his favorite movies) Thank you Lord, for the gentle reminder of all you have given me. May I see this as another opportunity to lose the selfishness and die to myself. Attitude is of the utmost importance and as the wife and mother of this household I need to have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude, much like ungratefulness is a seed...only each bears a different fruit. I pray to plant a seed of gratitude in this family where love and joy can grow wild. By grace alone.